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My Favorite Gadgets: Brother QL-700

January 7, 2018

My inner geek is what drove me to photography. My inner geek is also what keeps me excited about a lot of things in life.

One of the gadgets that made my inner geek really happy last year was the Brother QL-700 Label Printer (which Brother has now replaced with the QL-800).

So why does this little piece of electronics bring my inner geek so much joy? Nearly hassle free label making.

In spite of what my office looks like at any given time, I like to be organized. And I like to have labels that I can read from afar.

I’ve been trying to find the ultimate label solution for over 35 years.

My earliest recollection of getting labels to print ended in abject disaster as a tractor feed set of labels came apart and then stuck inside the printer where my dad worked. That was an ugly night.

Eventually we got our own printer at home and I could do labels. Sort of.

I’ve struggled with the various Avery labels over the years. Eventually I became pretty darn proficient at getting the labels I wanted. But to take the sheet of labels, put it into the printer in the correct orientation, and then try to take into account the labels I had all ready printed was awkward. Especially if I was in the middle of the project and I didn’t want to stop what was I was doing to go through the spacing olympics.

Eventually I got a Dymo label maker and it was a step forward. I still use it because there are times when I just need a label now and it gets the job done. But the media was limited in size, the fonts were basic, and I could never achieve the uniformity that I desired.

I bought the Brother on a whim. A little extra money sitting around and I’d heard good things about it.

It is incredible.

What do I like about it?

I can print to multiple media sizes. There are file folder labels that are precisely the correct length and width. Narrow strip size that fit bins beautifully. Large labels that can be seen from distance on the Rubbermaid totes out in the garage.

For the labels that are not a defined size, I can specify how big of a label to create and keep it uniform throughout.

In short: It is quick. It is to the point. They look good. They don’t take a lot of thought. And for label types that I use all the time I can open up my template, add the new data, print it, and go back to organizing. Absolutely Brilliant.

Recently I completely redid my primary 2-drawer filing cabinet.  I had material I wanted to put into 9×12 envelopes and archive because I didn’t need to have ready access to them but I didn’t want to throw them away.  I had material I wanted to put into standard 1/3 cut files.  Often I was making the decision on the fly and separating things from old hanging folders with some materials going into envelopes, some going into the file folders, and some headed to the shred pile.

The QL-700 was awesome.  I could keep a standard format for both the envelopes and the file folders.  I had standard sizes for both.  When I needed to swap between one size and the other, it was only a matter of seconds and I was ready to go.  It saved me untold hours and untold profane words during the project.  The project I figured would take the weekend only took me about 6 hours.

One of the best small investments I’ve made in a long time.  I love my QL-700.

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